Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

The people of Hong Kong are out in the streets. Hundreds of thousands are demonstrating against
a deeply unpopular bill. But this is about a whole lot more than a bill. It’s about the status of Hong Kong
and the power China has over it. It’s a fight to preserve the freedoms people
have here. And it all started with a murder. On February 8, 2018, a young couple, Chan
Tong Kai and Poon Hiu-Wing, went from their home in Hong Kong to Taiwan for a vacation. They stayed at the Purple Garden Hotel in
Taipei for nine days. But on February 17th only one of them returned
to Hong Kong. There, one month later, Chan confessed to
murdering his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. But there was a problem. Hong Kong authorities couldn’t charge him
for murder, because he did it in Taiwan. And they couldn’t send him back to Taiwan
to be charged, because Hong Kong and Taiwan don’t have
an extradition agreement. So in 2019, Hong Kong’s government proposed
one: it would let them transfer suspects to Taiwan so they could be tried for their crimes. But the same bill would also allow extradition
to mainland China. Where there’s no fair trial, there’s no humane punishment, and there’s completely no separation
of powers. And that’s what sparked these protests. China and Hong Kong are two very different
places with a very complex political relationship. And the extradition bill threatens to give
China more power over Hong Kong. See, Hong Kong is technically a part of China. But it operates as a semi-autonomous region. It all began in the late 1800s, when China
lost a series of wars to Britain and ended up ceding Hong Kong for a period of 99 years. Hong Kong remained a British colony until
1997, when Britain gave it back to China, under a special agreement. It was called “One Country, Two Systems.” It made Hong Kong a part of China, but it
also said that Hong Kong would retain “a high degree of autonomy,” as well as democratic
freedoms like the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, of assembly. And that made Hong Kong very different from
mainland China, which is authoritarian: Citizens there don’t have the same freedoms. Its legal system is often used to arrest,
punish, and silence people who speak out against the state. But according to the agreement, One Country,
Two Systems wouldn’t last forever. In 2047, Hong Kong is expected to fully become
a part of China. The problem is, China isn’t waiting
for the deal to expire. Under the rule of Chinese leader Xi Jinping,
pro-democracy leaders have already been arrested in Hong Kong. And mysterious abductions of booksellers have
created a threat to free speech. But Hong Kong has been pushing back. In 2003, half a million Hongkongers successfully
fought legislation that would have punished speaking out against China. And in 2014, tens of thousands of protesters occupied the city for weeks to protest China’s influence over Hong Kong’s elections. Now, Hong Kongers are fighting the extradition
bill, because the bill is widely seen as the next
step in China’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy. The sheer size of these protests shows you
just how much opposition there is to this bill. But if Hong Kong’s legislature votes on
the bill, it’ll probably pass. And that’s because of the unique nature
of Hong Kong’s democracy. For starters, Hong Kong’s people don’t
vote for their leader. The Chief Executive is selected by
a small committee and approved by China. And even though they’re the head of the
government, they don’t make the laws. That happens here. Like many democracies, Hong Kong has a legislature,
with democratically elected representatives. It’s called the Legislative Council, or
LegCo, and it has 70 seats. Within this system, Hong Kong has many political
parties, but they are mostly either pro-democracy or pro-China. In every election, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy
and anti-establishment parties have won the popular vote. But they occupy less than half of the seats
in the LegCo. This is because when Hong Kongers vote, they’re
only voting for these 40 of the 70 seats. The other 30 are chosen by the various business communities of Hong Kong. For example, one seat belongs to the finance
industry. One seat belongs to the medical industry. One belongs to the insurance industry. And so on. Many of these 30 seats are voted on by
corporations. And because big business has an incentive
to be friendly with China, those seats are dominated by pro-China political parties. When Hong Kong was handed over to China in
1997, Hong Kong and China made an agreement that eventually, all members of the council
would be elected by the people. But that never happened. And ever since the handoff, pro-China parties
have controlled the LegCo, despite having never won more than 50 percent of the popular
vote. The way it’s structured, they want to make
sure that the executive branch can have easy control over it. And that would serve Beijing very well indeed. Within this unique structure, the extradition
bill has created new tensions and fueled anger among pro-democracy politicians. And it’s driven hundreds of thousands of
Hong Kongers into the streets. While this isn’t Hong Kong’s first protest
against China’s influence, it is the biggest. And many say this time is different, because of the people involved. Professionals like lawyers and politicians are participating. Our legal sector staged their biggest ever protest parade. But it’s young people who are at the forefront,
since they have the most to lose. They are the first generation born under One
Country Two Systems. And in 28 years when that arrangement ends,
they’ll be Hong Kong’s professional class. I won’t be around anymore. It’s their future. It’s their Hong Kong. They have every
right to fight it. The protests have convinced Hong Kong’s
government to suspend the bill. But that’s not enough. Many want the bill withdrawn completely. That’s because these protests are also part
of a larger fight. To push back against China’s encroachment
now, not just when time’s up. 2047 is on its way. But it’s not here yet. And until then, Hongkongers still have a voice. History will tell whether we succeed, but even if we failed, history would say they did put up a fight and they didn’t just take things lying down. And that’s what we’re trying to do too.


  • Vox says:

    UPDATE 8/22/19: Last weekend saw the largest peaceful march in Hong Kong since the start of the protests. Organizers say roughly 1.7 million people marched on the streets of Hong Kong.

    Vox's daily podcast, Today, Explained, breaks down the situation and its most recent developments:

    👉 Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3pXx5SXzXwJxnf4A5pWN2A

    👉 Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://applepodcasts.com/todayexplained

    👉 Listen on Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/today-explained/e/63398553

  • It’s Stuka Time says:

    im just out here waiting for the people of hong kong to wear yellow turbans

  • Arti Rani says:

    History won't remember u history is written by the victor

  • Иван Федорчук says:

    На первых секундах видео услышал "Ганьба". Казалось бы при чём тут…)

  • Tekinsu lyrics says:

    America playing with Chinese people more than hundreds of years

  • bernard produckion says:

    The movement is kinda like EDSA in 1986 in the philipines

  • Jeanilyn Murcia says:



  • ????? says:

    Fight for FREEDOM, stand with HONG KONG💕💞

  • matthew førgersen says:

    Communism and socialism= 🚫

  • nalannh says:


  • mallik sharma says:

    Now that the bill is withdrawn, what more they have in their list of demands?

  • Ho Socks says:

    why cant there be complete democracy

  • João Batista Schneider says:

    The people have power

  • Recon Smith says:

    tiananmen square all over

  • Joseph Hsien says:

    Hong Kong fell? ? ? Hong Kong is China's territory. Has Hong Kong been invaded by other countries? I only know that Hong Kong was once forced to lend to the United Kingdom. It was colonized.

  • Miki N says:


  • Muhamed Krlić says:

    I think the biggest issue Hong Kong has after this one is the cowloon districts named by the British colonists.

  • zi li says:

    In fact, the intention of Hong Kong's withdrawal of capital, business can not be done, too disgusting, feeling that the United States conspiracy, otherwise how many protests are engaged in their own small abacus.

  • 种花老兵 says:

    American dog cage is no longer possible, the owner of the dog has begun to abandon the relationship, not my dog!

  • Roger More says:

    Hong Kong needs to become is own country to save its people culture and future good luck and God bless Hong Kong…

  • AS Rusli says:

    All of drug-lords, murders, …..may stay in Hongkong for free. Welcome in HK, you are safe..

  • JC.M Account says:

    Democracy vs communism all over again, freedom vs being controlled .. Who will win? This time 🤔

  • Lia says:

    I'm Korean and I support you guys!

  • ems007 says:

    what did the murder have to do with anything

  • family_ friendlyarmyhah says:


    im from hong kong n im sad like this is kinda ruining hong kong but i think they r right but they detroyed stuffs instead of just 'peacefully walking/protesting'

    its both right n wrong i think idk

  • Bikini Man says:

    Democracy = manipulate the majority. No politician will make your life better. How can you expect equality when you're not doing equal stuff in your community? Why are people so afraid to decide for their own? Why do you need people to tell you how to live your life?

  • MackyFN says:

    I was born and raised there. Moved to UK a few years ago. So sad this has all occured.

  • Le monkye says:

    China’s the best

  • sandeep kumar says:

    I support hongkongers

  • i_fructose father says:

    If Batman was here so he would rope this man around a plane and make him back in Taiwan.

  • 파랑스웨거 says:

    I'm Korean. i realiy want to hong kong's DOK RIP, It's korean… mean independence(그게 얼미나 소중한 가치인지 한국인들은 잘 알고있습니다. 우리의 지도자는 당연히 우리손으로뽑아야죠!!!!!)

  • Anton Encinas says:

    Imagine you steal chocolate bar and start a civil war…

  • IlikeAlotOfThings says:

    Hong Kong is now the worst city in China . There, I said it.

  • b p says:

    look how UK make a mess in ASIA, and wash their hand throug brexit…

  • Jung Ha says:

    Imho, I think the core issue of the whole protest is fear of the younger generation for their future jobs, culture and houses. Especially after the extradition bill was officially retracted, you can see that most of the protesters now are very young people, who are probably students. Due to the rise of China economy, huge hot money and lots of Chinese tourists have continuously come into HK and caused lots of changes and complaints inside the society. Unfortunately, no matter how long the protest can last, I don't see how those good old days back in the 80s and 90s can come back.

  • johnny. mupp says:


  • silas thibodeau says:

    I feel like this gunna be another Tiananmen square

  • Azophi says:

    I think it's the aliens getting restless because of the area 51 raid

  • Tibet Archives says:

    Free Tibet!

  • Enzo Gatila says:

    This might be the new Tiananmen square massacre

  • Marcel lii says:

    They fight to see usashit great!

  • GDisGOD • says:

    The guy that murdered his gf must really be regretting it right now 😦

  • Lethalshed gaming says:

    If the UN would be included in this situation their might be a World War 3

  • Ryan Zad says:

    Hong Kong is a city in China though?

  • ros amando says:

    don't ever take away their freedom

  • Ricky Wong says:

    Do you think it's truly a over 1 million people march? No way a few streets a couple kilometers long can house that many people

  • Play it out says:

    The darkest times of HK. HK wanted to stand on their own to the end but China wanted to take it all back.

  • Austin Chan says:

    I don't get why extradition to Taiwan means extradition to China as well?

  • Mitch Lucker says:


  • leung ching hei says:

    Carrie Lam must response to our five demand
    We will use all the power to protects the democracy of Hong Kong
    May god protect our homeland, Hong Kong

  • Anna K says:

    This is a terrible thing for hongkongers (。•́︿•̀。)

  • uu f says:

    First of all, actually in China there isn't many people speaking out about the government, not because they are afraid, but because there isn't anything to complain about. Re-make this documentary when you have actually been to China. China has definitely done horrendous things over the years but if you go to different cities including the poorer ones, the people there are pretty peaceful. With more western influence, it is actually a lot more relaxed now. There is good technology everywhere, cheap things and is socially a great place.

  • uu f says:

    No matter how hard you protest, China's iron fist will eventually slam down on Hong Kong sooner or later. Having China taking over 20 years earlier isn't that bad. So what is happening right now is that these HK protestors are protesting a lot and angering the government. Then when they lose control and activate Tiananman Massacre 2.0 button, everyone is going to blame and put the spotlight on China. Can we just have some peace plz.

  • 亭玉Angelique says:

    Number of Hk protesters –
    *16.6.2019 -Sunday
    Protest organizers claim: 2 million
    Authority I.T calculation: 33.8 thousand
    *18.8.2019 -Sunday (Vox says on 22.8.2019 was incorrect)
    Protest organizers claim: 1.7 million
    Authority I.T calculation: 12.8 thousand

  • 刘清涛 says:


  • Dulay Lomo says:

    If the same kind of anarchy happened in the US (or any other country for that matter) the police would simply sit back and have a drink while they let the protesters set fire to their police station, damage public property, and create public havoc without taking any action whatsoever, such as using tear gas or beating rioters right? And not a single person was beat up by the police and arrested during any of the Occupy demonstrations around the world either (where demonstrators were much less violent compared to those in Hong Kong right now).

  • Monica P. says:

    Bruh 🤦‍♀️ I wonder what it's like to have actual politicians and people that hold sway actually, actively protesting 🤔

  • Carlene Krsek says:

    Great documentary! Very informative and well-made! Here's luck to you Hong Kong!!!🖖

  • J L says:

    Hong Kong protesters act violence in protest, not acceptable

  • The CrazY Bass Man says:

    I sense a world war coming soon

  • Yiyi Lu says:

    Democracy needs people to respect each other. It is not the freedom to do your own selfish will. I hate to see some people they talk democracy but they don’t care others feel.

  • Kevin Vu says:

    Ima just say the person who took the photo for the thumbnail is probably the most impactful image in photography

  • Tuantuan says:


  • Tuantuan says:


  • Grace Wang says:

    I don't see the other side's story

  • 石頭 says:


  • Rainslurp ➊ says:

    This is what area 51 raid should’ve looked like

  • Dragon HK says:

    Children are going to learn about this in their social studies in the future.

  • KS2996's Gaming Channel says:

    1 like = 1 protester released

  • tubhmoobvwj81 says:

    this protester does nothing good at all but causing damage to business, building, street, and on. you get the point. they claim that they are a non-violent protester, I don't see that. soon or later police will end up shooting someone if this continue on. many thanks to the police for keeping the city and good people safe there.

  • MrMosh250 says:

    Democracy destroy the Philippines.

  • Insight Curiosity. says:

    china should stay away.

  • Frost Rusher says:

    China and Hong Kong/Taiwan is like Russia and Ukraine

  • Dave Scott says:

    Remember the days when Japan and Hong Kong used to import amazing things to the United States, lots of these items are amazing quality and very collectible vintage items from furniture, lighting, tools and toys to name a few. China has crippled Hong Kong and Japan as being competition against them, and now China wants to take over Hong Kong and take islands and sea boundaries from Japan, they must be stopped.

  • Seiko Spore says:

    That man should face three charges : one for causing this revolt in HK, two charges for murder. It seems to be a premeditated murder to get rid of his pregnant girlfriend, probably he does not want to be burden to take care of them financially. He is really a very scheming and evil man that must be punished!

  • E W says:

    i grew up in hong kong and it hurts me to see how bad things have gotten since i left.

  • teN nob says:

    This are draw back of colonialism divide and rule on any aspect for instance race ,religion, ideology, etc. If in future country become strong we can always catch at week sport

  • 刘斌 says:

    we are family

  • NorthMan PH says:

    they need wung fei hung

  • Brahmacharimayum Nelson Sharma says:

    All of todays world crisis is due to British imperialist policy.

  • 戈多 says:

    When you say HK and china,I know who you are.I must tell you HK is china.

  • hustxx says:

    we 1.4 billion chinese people support hong kong police.

  • Sarah ursic says:

    How about you don't break any laws ?

  • moosak100 says:

    I initially supported these protests, It has now become out of control and the objectives have been lost. Vandalism of infrustructure, security cameras, cctv cameras, train stations, ticket machines, buildings, fires and violence and assaults against random people without trial. This is no longer a fight for democracy its Anarchy its a decent to some dystopian nightmare. Try living without electricity and water and regular food supply chains. The exit of corporations and business and tourists will only increase the unemployment rate. Without the rule of law then all is lost. Dog eat dog. Time to get tough with some of these protesters.

  • moosak100 says:

    The idea of democracy comes with responsibility, vandalism and violence are not the acts of rational people. There is nothing peaceful about smashing up train stations and all has been lost once you commit violence against random people you think may be Chinese.
    That is the act of scumbags. The Chinese government may be violent towards the people but when you sink to that level then you are no better than them.
    The protesters have lost my support.

  • Yiming Chen says:

    Why did you not mentioned any brutal behaviour that Youngers did in this "protest" period?
    Is this part of your "FREEDOM" talking things?

  • Walkey says:

    Needs to invent a killer-human spray

  • 여름어느오후3시 says:

    S.korea also become commercial

  • Yiming Chen says:

    In your video, I can not see the word "equality" because I did not see any other aspects of the event.

    The thugs who claim to protect Hong Kong, have done a terrible influence to the police, the people, and society. Also some media chose to be blinded.

    And the people who speak out in the video are chosen by you with some kind of need, right?

    If this is what your channel claims as "freedom", then I think you are just another form of despotism.

    Use the banner of "freedom" to pollutes the world, this way of freedom is the most terrible and the most ignorant.

    Western media feel that the Chinese people's heads have been covered with a red rag by the government.
    Have you ever thought that you are blindfolding the people of the Western world with another black rag?

    I yearn for freedom.
    But I do believe that freedom must be based on equality and not to hurt anyone. 
    Which declaration of freedom asides any of these two conditions, is to hold human beings as hostage with their unknown will.

  • Chexa says:

    I'm no one to give my opinion when I'm not part of this but I truly believe cities shouldn't become independent from their countries just because they have different ways of being. The idea of globalisation was to become closer, not to be more separate. They can protest if they want but not get separated from the country. It'd be an error.

  • Kilroy was Here says:

    This is why America has the second amendment, a government can’t dictate its people if the people can protect themselves

  • Lu Lue says:

    1 word for China Try Hard

  • sdfasdfasd sdfasdfas says:

    30 of 70 seats occupied by Corporation representatives, thats some democracy !

  • chaz Gurrero says:

    We believe we have God given rights. I would believe you deserve to be free. Keep stand together and stick together. There are more of you than them.

  • Jack Le Ripper says:

    The term “ tinderbox “ comes to mind 😬.

  • Daniel S. says:

    They will be part of china, today or in 20 years, but It'll happen.

  • Andrew Zone says:

    when protesters become terrorists

  • david ou says:

    Well, it is Britain invaded China and force China to give out Hong Kong.

  • Милана OMG says:

    Well done Hong Kong!

  • Aroha Gerrard says:

    I would love to hear from the mainland people and what they think!,

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